Today we are joined by the young and talented ‘ukulele duo, Honoka & Azita. First meeting at the ‘ukulele school Ukulele Hale on the island of O’ahu, Honoka Katayama and Azita Ganjali began taking lessons from instructor Jody Kamisato. In 2012, Honoka and Azita teamed up and began performing as a duo in ‘ukulele contests and other various performances. Receiving first place in the group division and the MVP award at the 2013 International ‘Ukulele Contest, the duo propelled into their ‘ukulele careers performing in Japan, parts of Europe, and events throughout Hawai’i. Releasing their debut CD this summer, we are excited to hear and watch these two young artist grow.
HiSessions recently aired Honoka and Azita’s episode with this original tune Drop In. This dynamic tune starts off strong with Honoka vamping on some hits as Azita plays the first melody. Trading parts (0:28), the girls use a mixture of techniques to create an expressive melody such as bends (0:27, 0:51) and octave runs (0:19, 0:43) stylized like instructor Kamisato. They enter the next section of the song by slowing down together and launching into a slow groove and solos. Honoka takes the first one with a sweet and lyrical solo. Tasty bends and sweeps fill the air before Azita responds with a soft touch and a great harmonic sense; blending in perfectly placed double stops. Returning back to the first section, Honoka and Azita bring the energy back up before launching into a new slow groove (2:24). Honoka’s arpeggiated chords open the song up with a new texture before some legato double stops of her own (2:31). Azita’s response this time starts with a Santana styled repeated riff (2:53) and transitions into a descending line as Honoka brings the song to the floor with some palm muting (3:06). Seamlessly they transition back into the original melody, finishing the song with harmonized chords (3:45) and a harmonized descending line (3:47).
UkePrints is a curated playlist of some essential ukulele tracks that all ukulele player should listen to. These songs have left a legacy for future players and in essence, sound impressions of the ‘ukulele or what I like to call them: UkePrints.